The 1987 Montreal Protocol and the 1997 Kyoto Protocol called for countries around the world to phase out substances that deplete the ozone layer, but many HVAC systems still use synthetic refrigerants that violate those international agreements and inflict environmental damage. Recently, Iranian researchers investigated how natural refrigerants could be used in geothermal heat pumps to reduce energy consumption and operating costs. They report their findings in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy.
How carbon made it out of the ocean and into the atmosphere has remained one of the most important mysteries of science. A new study, provides some of the most compelling evidence for how it happened -- a 'flushing' of the deep Pacific Ocean caused by the acceleration of water circulation patterns that begin around Antarctica.
Scientists have been playing with pure carbon compounds for centuries, starting with diamond and graphite and now with fullerenes, nanotubes and graphene. One type of 3D geometry has been missing, however: a negatively curved carbon-cage surface called schwarzite. UC Berkeley chemists have now shown that serendipitously produced materials called zeolite-templated carbons are in fact the long-sought schwarzites. Their recipe for making schwarzites could make them practical in electronics and gas storage.
Triple-layered nanoarray electrode promises to boost battery performance and enhance other electrochemical processes.
Ethanol and related gasoline replacement fuels produce fewer smog-causing chemicals.
Scientists synchronously incorporated the schemes of anthropogenic water regulation, groundwater lateral flow and the movement of soil frost and thaw fronts into a land surface model, which is then named the Land Surface Model for Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS-LSM). Results suggested that CAS-LSM is a potential tool for studying land surface processes.
Some chemicals used to speed up the breakdown of plants for production of biofuels like ethanol are poison to the yeasts that turn the plant sugars into fuel. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and several Department of Energy laboratories have identified two changes to a single gene that can make the yeast tolerate the pretreatment chemicals.
The batteries of the future may be made out of paper. Researchers at Binghamton University, State University at New York have created a biodegradable, paper-based battery that is more efficient than previously possible.
A new Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining study has found that using ethanol from corncobs for energy production may help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in China, if used instead of starch-based ethanol.
The Longhouse, a prototype 'mass timber' building designed by an MIT class, demonstrates that even huge buildings can be built primarily with wood.